The truth behind Col 2.14 and Gal 4.9

There are many verses in the New Testament that are misunderstood and misinterpreted by many who try to find justification for teaching that the Torah has been done away with. We have already shown in a previous article that Paul was a Torah observant Jew and he himself, and the Apostles, taught the Torah (See “Paul was a Torah Observant Jew). We are going to deal with two verses right now, Col 2.14 and Gal 4.9 in this article. First, let’s look at Col 2.14 where it says “having cancelled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which were hostile to us; having nailed it to the cross.” Now, many teach that the “certificate of debt” was the Torah and commandments of God and that when Yeshua died, the Law was “cancelled out” on the cross, but nothing could be further from the truth. The word used for “certificate of debt” is the word “cheirographon” which is a technical term for a payment that is owed, a debt. We know that the wages of sin is death. The Torah told us what we have done and 1 John 3.3-4 says that sin is violating the Torah. What is grammatically important in this verse is that the “record of debt” is erased, not the Torah ordinances. Remember when Yeshua was crucified and the Romans listed his crimes against Rome and placed it on the cross, over his head? Paul is talking about the placard on our own cross that lists all our crimes and offenses against God. Yeshua took that placard and “nailed it to his own cross.” The key to understanding this concept is found in v 13 where it says that we were dead in our transgressions (sins) and he made us alive again, having forgiven us of all our transgressions. Then, verse 14 tells us how this was done. Another misinterpreted verse can be found in Gal 4.9 where it says “But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by him, how is it that you turn again to the weak and worthless elemental things to which you desire to be enslaved all over again.” The key to the context of this verse can be found in v 3 where it says that that at one time (when they were unsaved) they were held in bondage under the elemental things of the world. These were the things devised by man, the customs, traditions and works, the outward, earthly things. 2 Pet 3.10 it is these things, the works of man, that will be “burned up” and “destroyed” by the judgment of God. The Torah was never considered “weak” or “worthless” but on the contrary they considered it holy, righteous and good (Rom 7.12). The Galatians were a work in progress and they were still observing some pagan, man-made holidays and festivals spoken about in v 10. These are not the biblical festivals because these were given by God, they were the Lord’s festivals. The context here is man’s traditions, and one of those man-made traditions the Galatians were struggling with was being circumcised in order to be saved according to the 18 Edicts of the Rabbi’s from the School of Shammai. The handwritten dogmas of man have no authority over a believer and we are not obligated to observe them, especially if they are religious, pagan festivals that are celebrate false gods. It’s permissible, as in America, to celebrate Thanksgiving or the Fourth of July for instance. These are man-made customs but they do not violate the heart of the Torah. But, you don’t have to celebrate them either. Either way it is permissible before the Lord. The customs and festivals of the nations are not an issue for us. These are the weak and worthless things being talked about, not the Torah.

Posted in Questions, Understanding the New Testament

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